Midway through the season, Eastside football sits at a comfortable 2-2. One fumble in overtime might have propelled them to 3-1, but that’s something we’ll never know. What we do know is, the Eagles have five games left, all against region opponents with a combined record of 12-7.
Of course saying that one fumble was the reason Eastside lost would be wrong. In games that are so close and critical, such as the one Eastside lost to Jonesboro, it’s easy to point to one play, person or thing and point blame. However, as is always, there’s more than one reason for any loss or win. In fact, Eagles’ head coach Rick Hurst told his team after the loss not to point any fingers and to take a look in the mirror and see what they did right and wrong.
In this article, we’ll look at three things that the Eagles have going for them after a disappointing loss at home.
Depth at running back
With Eric Stokes and Andrew Henderson injured, Carlos Huggins and Anthony Brown were called upon to run the rock for Eastside. The two cousins answered the bell and then some.
As a duo the two combined for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. The offensive line created holes at times and the two found room to run. Huggins and Brown performed well in Stokes and Henderson’s absence.
According to ehseagles.com, Stokes and Henderson have 306 yards rushing and four touchdowns so far this season. Stokes is averaging seven yards per carry and Henderson is averaging 4.7 yards per carry. The Eagles now know they have four backs they can play at any time and not lose a vast amount of production. You never can have too much depth.
Strong d-line play
The defensive line, led by Arthur Holmes, was able to earn some praise from Hurst after the game against Jonesboro.
“I thought the d-line put good pressure on them all night. He wasn’t back there holding the ball long, it was short throws. I think they knew we could put pressure on them, but overall I thought the defensive line played well tonight,” Hurst said after the game.
Holmes and co. was able to get pressure on the quarterback and they almost forced a couple of interceptions. Early in the game Holmes tipped an attempted pass and he almost caught it to get the turnover, but he just missed it.
The d-line was also able to get some rush up the middle to clog up a hole or two in the running game, although this was more seldom, they showed Eastside fans what they were capable of.
Take it to the House
You already know about Austin Holloway, Eric Stokes and Josh Sims. You probably already know about Evan House too, but let me reassure you, he’s as good as advertised.
House looked like a No.1 receiver in the Eagles’ offense on Friday night making play after play. House had eight catches for over 100 yards, and he came up with a number of clutch catches in the game, including a couple of big first downs. House was all over the field and against Jonesboro, he was Holloway’s go-to receiver when Holloway needed a play.
House, Sims, Holloway, Stokes, Holmes and Huggins will continue to have a huge impact on the rest of the Eagles’ season.